Malaysian-Taiwanese artist and humanitarian, Liang, has been making heads turn both on a regional and international scale. The Founder of Helping Angels – a global network of volunteers committed to a movement of compassion based on random acts of kindness – sought to encourage volunteerism with time and efforts.
Poesy Liang is a multi-disciplined artist, interior architect, jewellery designer and singer-songwriter, who now expands her reach into Singapore, championing her work through the creative arts, philanthropic investments, leadership empowerment and social entrepreneurship.
The Helping Angels movement first began in 2007 with the simple gesture of bringing 60 underprivileged children on a movie excursion and has since grown to cover over 20 countries with over 2000 volunteers. Activities cover welfare of the underprivileged, education, homeless, old aged, animal welfare and disaster aid.
Liang is motivated by a strong cause to think and provide for the under-privileged, having personally suffered and battled paralysis twice from spine tumours. Liang’s second spine surgery in 2003 left her without sensation in her legs. Since then she has been deemed the ‘walking miracle’, for learning how to walk again, coping with just her eyesight.
Under the umbrella of Helping Angels, Liang spearheaded unique volunteer programs suited to the locality in Hong Kong, Japan, California, Taipei, and other major cities that Liang frequently travels to.
The philanthropist also spearheaded the Thursday Tutoring Program and ChowKids Art Angels in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, an initiative that had volunteering members clock in time to tutor the young residents of welfare shelters and refugee centres. All volunteering activities are led by unit leaders who donate their time to care for the project objectives and administration.
Liang is currently working with several philanthropic organisations in the region and has her focus converged towards Singapore due to its close proximity with Malaysia where her hometown is. She hopes to inspire a greater sense of social entrepreneurship and to bring about altruism within corporations and leaders of influence.
Having had a strong background in the arts – since the age of 6, Liang tutored under various art experts for several genres of art mediums till her late teens – Liang cleverly uses her artistic flair to fuel the many projects she has from philanthropy, art, writing to music and her creative endeavours have become part of a natural healing process for her.
In 2011, Liang founded the Bald Empathy Movement in a bid to raise sensitivity and awareness, and give empathy to people with illnesses. She funded her tour throughout America, Asia, West Africa and Europe by selling pieces of her own art on Facebook so as to reach her final goal of shaving her head bald in a live web telecast at the 64th Cannes Film Festival for the movement. Her artworks were well-received and have garnered sales from across the world, through Texas to Japan, using her social media outreach.
The iconic photograph of her freshly shaven bald look was taken by Singapore’s renowned painter Tung Yue Nang, the only non-photographer amongst the 10 international photographers who participated in this cause.
Liang’s paintings have been described as childlike, whimsical and uplifting – what has become a classic and signature look for Liang’s artwork. Her most recent pieces, a series of paintings titled “Rooftop Cats” and “Dragonfly Lilypad” have received international recognition with Dragonfly Lilypads #6 currently being showcased on screen in London’s renowned Saatchi Gallery.
The popular “Rooftop Cats” series displays her fascination in roof structures since her architectural days. Liang is currently developing a “Rooftop Cats” series especially for Singapore featuring Peranakan rooftops nestled amongst a landscape of skyscrapers.
Before discovering a career as a full time artist, Liang designed luxury homes for the private jet-setters. Liang also designs jewellery for POEZ Jewellers, a business which she still owns.
Simultaneously, Liang is also releasing music throughout 2014, three singles of her original compositions as well as ten jazzy covers were recorded in London and arranged by Godfrey Wang, who was the music director of the late Teresa Teng, amongst other music greats such as Jimmy Ruffin and Boney M.
Venturing on to a different element, she has been working with a team of animators in Singapore to produce an animated film which will be released at a media party in Cannes. The illustrations and soundtrack to the animation will also be designed by Liang.
As the recipient of Her World Woman of the Year, NTV7 Top 5 Inspirational Woman for Bella Awards and NewMan Creative Pioneer Johnnie Walker Philanthropy Award, Poesy Liang is a creative force to be reckoned with, powered and fuelled by her determination to help those less fortunate and inspire and empower others in following her cause. Her focus on Singapore will help to spur the local arts and philanthropy scene to a new level.